Asics Nimbus vs Cumulus: Which is Right for You?

Asics running shoes have been widely discussed as one of the top two running shoes available. In fact, the debate circles between Asics and Brooks on which shoe brand is better for runners.  So, if you are looking to upgrade your running shoes which one should you choose - Nimbus or Cumulus? We will be looking at the popular models of each line - the 23 version

The biggest difference is that the Flytefoam Propel cushioning found in the Nimbus is a plush yet responsive ride over the basic Flytefoam in the Asics Gel Cumulus. Though the Nimbus is slightly heavier, the added midsole provides support and responsiveness. The Asics Cumulus is a perfect shoe for demanding daily mileage and long runs but lacks the level of support & cushion that the Nimbus offers.

Let's start with an in-depth look at the Nimbus 23 running shoe. 

Asics Nimbus vs Cumulus - A Complete In-Depth Analysis of Their Top 2 Shoes

Asics Nimbus 23 Review: 

After years of redesigns, the Gel Nimbus 23  has become one of the best models to this lineup yet. Us neutral runners rejoice! 

Already well known as a premium daily trainer, one does not have to look much farther than the hefty price tag to see that it has a lot to offer.

Featuring ASICS's bounciest midsole foam and plenty of flex grooves, the Nimbus 23 offers premium cushioning and a smooth ride to runners of all levels seeking a soft landing that can take them for miles and miles.

Equipped with an Impact Guidance System (IGS) technology,  the ENGINEERED MONOFILAMENT upper, the FLYTEFOAM Propel midsole foam, and Asics famous GEL technology, this Asics shoe offers some of the best technology that the company has ever created.

The midsole foam is a delight and ASICS definitely upped their game by adding special features on the Nimbus 23 running shoe.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key specs.

ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 9, Reborn Blue/Black
717 Reviews
ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 9, Reborn Blue/Black
  • Engineered Mesh Upper - Multi-directional mesh material improves ventilation and stability.
  • GEL technology cushioning - Provides excellent shock absorption
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam formulation that provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound.
  • FLYTEFOAM technology - Provides lightweight cushioning
  • OrthoLite X-55 sockliner - Improves step-in comfort

PROS

  • Inherently Stable Design
  • Soft Cushioning
  • Durable Rubber Outsole
  • Great support especially for runners with plantar fasciitis

CONS

  • Some versions have a high price tag
  • Heavy
  • Lacking Energy Return

Asics Gel Cumulus 23 Review:

Known as the more simple and affordable daily trainer in their lineup, The Gel Cumulus 23 offers a design familiar to older versions, but with a smoother, lighter, and more comfortable ride.

Staying true to its roots, the Gel Cumulus 23 offers a sleeker and more versatile function over its past interactions that can accommodate for easy runs, long runs, and even tempo runs.

ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 23 Running Shoes, 5, Carrier Grey/Pure Silver
  • GEL Technology - Cushioning provides excellent shock absorption
  • Gender Specific 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION - Addresses different compression rates at footstrike per gender.
  • Engineered mesh upper -
  • Reflective accents improve visibility in low-light conditions -
  • FLYTEFOAM Technology - Provides lightweight cushioning

PROS

  • Soft and fluid ride
  • Durable GEL midsole and Rubber outsole
  • Lighter Weight

CONS

  • Prolonged Break-in period
  • Limited Flexibility

Uppers: Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Cumulus 23

While the uppers on these two shoes share many similarities, there are some key differences to note about the lacing, support, and weight.

The lacing system on the Gel Nimbus 23 offers flat laces that smoothly lace-up and feel secure once tied and knotted. They feel snug but not to the point your are squeezing your foot. 

The tongue is fairly plush and it does not feel too tight across the foot. The Gel Cumulus 23 is much of the same, but the lace material feels a little soft, this almost feels a little better than in the Gel Nimbus 23. As a runner you want it to feel comfy while secure and both accomplish it. 

ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 23 Running Shoes, 10.5M, White/Black

Both are Engineered Mesh materials, but the Cumulus 23 implements a Frictionless 3D Print Construction for a bit more of a seamless fit throughout the upper.

That being said, the Asics Nimbus upper mesh feels softer and more comfortable throughout the entire run. It just offers a more “premium” feel while running.

The Nimbus also has an exterior heel counter to increase support throughout your run. This heel counter acts as a shock absorber for us heel strikers. 

The “premium” feel on the Gel Nimbus 23 comes at a price of weight, as it feels far heavier than the Asics Gel Cumulus 23.  

ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 9, Reborn Blue/Black
717 Reviews
ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 9, Reborn Blue/Black
  • Engineered Mesh Upper - Multi-directional mesh material improves ventilation and stability.
  • GEL technology cushioning - Provides excellent shock absorption
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam formulation that provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound.
  • FLYTEFOAM technology - Provides lightweight cushioning
  • OrthoLite X-55 sockliner - Improves step-in comfort

Sole Unit: Asics Nimbus 23 vs. Cumulus 23

This is an area where the Gel Nimbus 23 has an advantage with its midsole makeup in comparison to the Asics Gel Cumulus 23.

ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 11.5M, Cream/Putty

The Gel Nimbus 23 implements the Flytefoam Propel foam, which offers a really bouncy response and also feels plug at the very first step. This is compared to the regular Flytefoam material in the Asics Cumulus 23, which is still soft, but just not quite as much.

This new Flytefoam Propel foam is also paired with a strategically placed rearfoot and forefoot Gel Cushioning system, which is a silicone-based gel for responsive shock absorption on impact.

The Asics Cumulus 23 only has a Gel Cushioning System in the rearfoot and it is nice, but the front feels a little less plush, but that could be a good thing depending on the feel you are looking for.

The outsole of the Asics Cumulus 23 boasts of Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR+) rubber construction for high traction and a longer lifespan.

 It’s this same durability that makes the Cumulus 23, the economical choice for high mileage runners.
ASICS Men's Gel-Cumulus 23 Running Shoes, 13M, Black/Graphite Grey

Verdict

Both the Cumulus and Nimbus fall in the neutral cushioning running shoes category. It feels like the Gel Nimbus 23 continues to be the winner of this debate because of its premium qualities in the upper and midsole. Asics Gel Nimbus is the flagship neutral shoe for the entire brand. 

With the Cumulus 23, you can of course expect a soft, comfortable ride that is ideal for that . But as explained above, the shoe does sacrifice something in the way of responsiveness. It is the ever-reliable daily trainer that doubles as a long-run shoe built to last for miles.

It packs a whole lot more cushioning which means more bulkiness as well as stiffness. Finally, given the lower price range, the Cumulus 23 is still the most economical choice for high mileage runners.


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Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API